Monday, July 26, 2010

Words Count

Write 250 words every day and finish a novel in a year? I’d like to know where I am supposed to find time to write those every day – a dropped lump of spare hours in the gutter perhaps? Under the ornamental gourd smothering my runner beans? In the bottom of my handbag amongst the unspent coppers and sticky conference-facility mint?

It’s not just the time spent crafting the words, it’s the age it takes for my laptop to load. There’s the emails and Daily Horoscope to check, the headlines to scan, the updates and Friend Requests from someone you once sat next to in a year end exam to ignore, Spider Solitaire to play.

I do sometimes think of becoming one of those people that gets up at the crack of dawn, goes for a five-mile run, has a bowl of Special K whilst holding perfect yoga poses, then sits down and knocks off a chapter or two before work. You know the types. What do they call them? Anal-retentive freaks of nature. All that fibre must dry up any remaining joy and spontantiety and everyone knows running jiggers your knees.

Then there’s the evenings. If I’m not in the gym, ploughing up and down the pool, which I’m invariably not, there’s the pots to wash, the cat to feed, Sudoku to complete, phone calls to be made, repeats to be watched, nails to paint, books to read.

If I had the time I would write 250 words. I haven’t.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

So he said...

"...It's not you. It's me. I just can't commit".

I wasn't asking for commitment.

I was asking for a kiss.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

My First...

...gig as a news pundit...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How I Started To Smoke Again

Cherrypie interviews John Gordillo - He's Single, Y'Know

He's Perrier Award-nominated. He was Eddie Izzard's director and has recently worked with Reginald D. Hunter. He's also standing before me, bare-chested, ironing his shirt.

"Fuckonomics -
that's the title of my new show." Steam dampens the perfectly placed hairs on his chest. I'm rendered dumb. John expounds. "It's about the economics of sex. The whole thing can be analogised by applying certain economic principles. It's an utterly cynical review of a relationship that had disintegrated to little more than a crude bartering system. It's my way of understanding how it fell apart."

I sit down, rather too hastily, like my legs have just buckled beneath me. I remain silent hoping the loud shouts of ‘He’s Single’ stay in my head.

“No matter how much I tried to convince myself that it’s all about intellectual, spiritual, altruistic connections, ultimately it boils down to where I get to stick my dick. It’s me trying to figure out why I lack definition. It’s also about pornography, and my use of porn which is another thing entirely.”

He puts down the iron and aims his deep blue Spanish eyes straight at me. He’s Single. I swallow. Then remember how to speak. I ask him about his return to stand-up after a six year break.

“I started as a comedian in 1996, then left the circuit to host and co-create The Recommended Daily Allowance - RDA, a nightly comedy/talk show for BBC Choice. It infatuated and infuriated BBC bosses in equal measure, and ran until the channel rebranded as BBC Three. I was also directing countless live shows, including Reginald D. Hunter, Ealing Live! and I directed/produced and edited Eddie Izzard’s Unrepeatable and Live At The Ambassadors shows. I did some less interesting stuff for the Beeb, ITV and Channel 4 too.” Right now his hand running through his thick black hair has captured my interest.

John found his way back to the circuit in 2006 and performed his debut solo show, Free John Gordillo at the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2007 with one five-star reviewer saying: “The most expensive comedy this year is Ricky Gervais at £37.50. I can honestly say John Gordillo is of the same calibre and he’s free.”

“It was well received and I enjoyed doing it but it wasn’t joined up.” The following year Divide and Conga became one of the most acclaimed shows of Edinburgh 2008, receiving four and five star reviews across the board. I witnessed its first ever performance in a dim club in Scarborough (I’d forgotten the stage lights and had to improvise with a couple of Tesco torches). I’d been struck by his easy intelligence, articulation, broad shoulders, chiselled jaw…

“I really wrestled with that show. There was a serious part in the middle of it that I was struggling with but I needed it to bring the two concepts of the show together. Once I managed to filter out my ego, it all came together.” Yes. Yes, John.

Gordillo is an inspiration, a consummate performer with an amazing talent, passion and intellect. If you are after cheap, silly laughs avoid, but if you want intelligent, moving comedy with a point, then you cannot afford to miss it – Chortle - *****

Superlative. Wonderfully intelligent and insightful – Time Out *****

Brilliant. Heartfelt and hilarious…he’s dynamite – The Times *****

Fit as Fuckonomics – Cherrypie 2009 xxxxx

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Healthy Check

There's no smoker who hasn't lit their last cigarette in a dark alley only to find it was the wrong way round. Menthol smokers do it regularly. Me included. (Mum - if you've strayed here by mistake, I'm using literary licence - there was just that one time when I was trying to impress Nick Denton...).

It's annoying, especially if it's your last cigarette and all the shops on Wandsworth Heath are shut. Should that ever happen to you and You happen to be on Wandsworth Heath, an old tramp that frequents the third bench from the second Horse Chestnut on the right will sell a Woodbine for 10p, least he did in 1987 when it last happened to me there ( Mum- LL). The other alternative is to take a sharp knife to the cauterised tip of the offending cigarette, thus shortening the end of what will inevitably shorten your life.

What isn't so easy to overcome is this.(Boys - go look at porn, War Games, Second Life, Sister Wendy Beckett, whatever floats your boat. There's nothing more for you here).

Girls - It's mid-flow. You've been griping like a teether all afternoon. You've snapped at everyone, not always justifiably. You've done all their job's, whether you needed to or not, better than they would ever have done and introduced a new record system. You've survived the ravages of the school run, dry-cleaners, supermarket bottle-neck and local Co-Op checkout to secure that Sauvignon which is on offer at £3.99.

You get home. Everyone else is out. The house is in darkness. You drop your shopping. Rush to the downstairs cloakroom that you had built on an extendable mortgage. Don't bother to turn on the light. Why would you? Then for the next five minutes, wonder why the tampon just won't go where you are pointing it.

You might think initially, 'It's been a long time. Nature's a great healer'.


Nature doesn't work that way or else I've lost my virginity every other year twelve times.

Don't give up.

Especially if it's your last tampon 'til next month's budget.

Try it the other way around. Like Menthol cigarettes, they look the same each way up and don't always have easy to see arrows directing you where to open them correctly.

Now wash your hands.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Corsa Enquiry

The authorities will soon put two and two together and realise something is amiss.

Four consecutive vehicles all dying from the same illness. The common link? The same owner.

I predict a national enquiry followed by the hasty formation of a specialised Vehicle Protection Unit. Innocent Ministers and Heads of Services may lose their jobs. They have already displayed their incompetence and whatever brings them down can only be good for the world in general (and I am generalising, not blaming the entire Government for the current state of the nation. I do not read the Daily Mail. I apologise to any blameless politicians who fall foul of this. Perhaps they should have listened harder at school). It will be a typical knee-jerk reaction and serve no practical purpose whatsoever.

The real culprit should be brought to justice and made never to commit the same crime again.

I have no problem with that. I just need to be able to get to work, see my friends, shop, and avoid the embarrassment of any daily use of public transport.

I am taking this opportunity to set out my mitigation.

1. I never meant them any harm. I loved all my cars. I never saw my behaviour as inappropriate. I probably wouldn't do anything differently today.

2. I provided them with sufficient fuel and never, ever (apart from one time 8 or 9 years ago when I was very busy and distracted) let them run on empty or suffer malnutrition.

3. I gave them top grade oil even when they were spewing it out faster than I could pour it in. I never spooned it back.

4. There were no physical bumps or bruises.

5. I emptied all the accumulated crap when it reached knee height in each of the passenger wells. I even put air-fresheners in the boot of the last one (actually, the seller did. I just didn't remove them in the last 16 months).

6. I never touched them. Certainly not inappropriately. And definitely not in a loving way.

7. I meant them no harm and afforded them the basic needs: petrol, tyres, oil, air and water as required. Heck! I'm not getting a regular service so why can't they cope with the odd shrivelled gasket or dry spot too?

8. I bought the last one a new oil cap after driving her down to London and back without one.

9. I'd been too busy to realise I'd done 43,000 miles in 16 months without a service to book a service.

10. I'm sorry. And I've promised my Dad I won't do it again.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Am A Walrus

So many days, too many meals, nothing to do but lay around like beached sea creatures, moaning mourntively*.

In desperation, I took an early night. I was too eaten up, drunk out and done in.

I woke in slight distress shortly after 1am. A harrowing dream of gravy and potatoes. It had been almost half a day after all. It was survival instinct that forced me down the stairs, into the cold, desolate kitchen. I reached for the hob and turned. Something clicked. I tried again. Same click. No spark. The fuel injection button was stuck, stuck fast with congealed gravy, much like my intestines. I considered it for a moment. Then decided to worry about it another day, much like my intestines, arteries and anything else from the neck down. I switched to the seldom-used ring at the back.

Minutes later I had a plate of Nigella's bread sauce-scented gratinaceaous-period potato and a couple of fossilised sausages warmed with gloopy jus before me. I entered the living room, dark, dank. The TV would not respond. I pressed the remote, all three of them. The same message beamed back to me. AV. That's what happens when teenage boys come back from University carrying X-Box 360s.

Deterred, but not yet defeated or eated, I returned to the kitchen and sat on the floor with my memories. A cornflake - I've not had any of those since the time we walked the Three Peaks. A shrivelled pea - that must have been Jack's re-enactment of Captain Corelli. A quid. I pocketed it and flicked on the wall-mounted television. A midget was performing YMCA. I looked again. It was a repeat for the Deaf.

I watched soundlessly, apart from the regular clicking of my jaw that has never been the same since the Edinburgh Rock incident, ajaw, between chews. Hundreds of walruses left the sea. They slowly made their way up the beach, exhausted, triumphant.

I silently thanked my parents for choosing a good dentist all those years ago as I made my cumberous** way back up the steep stairs.

* not sure if this the correct spelling, or even a word. If not, it is a Cherryism.

** and another